Sport and exercise science

AGCAS editors
June, 2017

A sport science degree provides a great basis on which to build a career in the sports industry, as well as giving you highly transferable business and management skills

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.

Work experience

Look for opportunities that match the career you would like to go into. Try youth sport volunteering if you're interested in coaching, or get work experience in a school if you would like to teach PE. Part-time work in a leisure centre is helpful, either in the admin and marketing side, or in fitness instruction and pool attendant work.

You can also gain great experience working in the sports section of a children's summer holiday scheme, in health promotion with local communities or in outdoor pursuit activities.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

Jobs are available with a range of organisations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, including:

  • professional sports clubs
  • national sporting associations, governing bodies and other related sporting agencies
  • private health and fitness clubs, spas and public sports and recreation facilities
  • local authorities
  • schools, further education and higher education institutions
  • the health sector, including the National Health Service.

As a sport science graduate, you may also go on to set up your own business or consultancy.

Find information on employers in healthcare, leisure, sport and tourism, teaching and education, and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

A degree in sport science gives you an understanding of sports performance and the factors that affect behaviour in sport. You gain subject-specific knowledge in areas such as physiology, psychology, biomechanics and nutrition.

You will also develop a set of transferable skills that can be used in lots of different careers, these include:

  • research and data analysis
  • ability to work on your own initiative and as part of a team
  • presentation and oral communication skills
  • written communication skills, including report writing
  • time management and planning
  • effective problem-solving
  • professionalism and customer focus
  • a good understanding of information technology.

Further study

Some sport-related careers require further study at postgraduate level. For example, if you want to become a sport and exercise psychologist you will have to complete a pathway that includes the necessary postgraduate qualifications. To get a job as a sports coach, you will need to gain the appropriate coaching qualifications.

If you want to become a PE teacher, you can go on to complete a PGCE. Masters or PhD level study may open up teaching and research opportunities in higher education.

You could also go on to specialise by studying a different subject area, such as by studying journalism to become a sports journalist, law to advise about employment legalities and contracts for sports professionals, or marketing to carry out marketing activities for a sports venue.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see teacher training, Masters degrees, and search postgraduate courses.

What do sport science graduates do?

Sports coaches, instructors and officials are the top jobs held by graduates in employment in the UK six months after graduation.

Further study23.2
Working and studying8.8
Graduate destinations for sport and exercise science
Type of workPercentage
Technicians and other professionals25.3
Retail, catering and bar work14.5
Childcare, health and education work7.8
Education professionals7.7
Types of work entered in the UK

For a detailed breakdown of what sport science graduates are doing six months after graduation, see What Do Graduates Do?

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Find out more